How to Fix a Spring in a Roll-Up Window Shade

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How to Fix a Spring in a Roll-Up Window Shade
Image Credit: Fotomax/iStock/GettyImages

Roller shades provide privacy at night and keep out the sun during the day. With a slight tug at the bottom, you can raise or lower the shade with ease. Roller shades operate on a hollow tube-like roller with a spring inside. When you pull the shade down, it puts more tension on the spring. The tension is released when you raise the shade. If you are having trouble operating the shade, either because the roller shade won't stay down or won't stay up, you can buy another roller tube or a new shade, but those are costly. Before you replace the window shade, try a few simple fixes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum

  • Air compressor

  • Toothpick

  • Lubricating oil

  • New roller shade

Roller Shade Won’t Stay Down

Step 1: Identify the Shade's Problem

Determine the source of the shade's problem. A shade that snaps up and takes more strength to pull down usually has a spring that's too tight. If your shade won't stay up, proceed to Step 2. For a shade that doesn't stay down, skip to the next section.

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Step 2: Take Down the Shade

Remove the roller shade from the brackets. One end lifts upward off the bracket; the other end pulls free from the bracket.

Step 3: Partially Unroll the Shade

Unroll the shade material about 4 to 6 inches. If you have an extremely loose shade, unroll the shade material to the halfway point.

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Step 4: Manually Re-Roll the Shade

Roll the shade material back onto the roller with your hands.

Step 5: Reinstall the Roller Shade

Install the roller shade back in the window brackets.

Step 6: Test the Shade Repair

Pull the shade down and see if the shade works. If it doesn't, repeat the process.

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Adjusting Uncoiled Spring

Step 1: Take Down the Shade

Remove the shade from the brackets. One end lifts upward off the bracket; the other end pulls free from the bracket.

Step 2: Locate the Flat Pin

Examine the two ends of the roller. Find the end with the flat pin.

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Step 3: Clean the Mechanism

Vacuum away dust and debris from roller shade parts like the pawl, a small arm mechanism that engages the ratchet teeth. You can also use an air compressor or toothpick to clear away dust, debris and cobwebs.

Step 4: Apply Lubricating Oil

Spray lubricating oil onto the pawl.

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Step 5: Hang and Test the Shade

Hang the window shade in place. Pull it down to see if it works better. If you are still having the problem, repeat Steps 1 through 5 until your shade works.

Roller Shade Won’t Stay Up

Step 1: Lower Shade Completely

Lower the roller shade as far as it will go. Remove the shade from the brackets.

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Step 2: Roll Shade Halfway

Roll the shade up by hand to the halfway mark.

Step 3: Reinstall Roller Shade

Install the roller shade in the brackets.

Step 4: Test the Roll-Up Shade

Pull the shade down and then try to raise the roller shade. Repeat if necessary.

Step 5: Roller Shade Spring Replacement

If these steps don't work and the shade still won't roll up, the spring may be broken. In this case, replace the roller.

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